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Dealing with relatives...

(21 Posts)
redfishbluefish Sun 02-Mar-14 13:56:37

We are 3 weeks into placement with our lo. My MIL is a lovely lady, but she is struggling with the ground rules we've set for interacting with our ds. I don't want to be mean, but she really makes me crazy when she acts like she knows best (she has no previous experience with adoption and doesn't really get the issues we are dealing with). Argh.

No specific question I guess, just having a little moan...

Moomoomie Sun 02-Mar-14 14:48:56

Congratulations. I feel for you with your MIL but you have got to continue with the ground rules and she will have to either like it or lump it. Would she read a book if you gave her one? I'm not sure if you can get adoption books for grandparents.

crazeekitty Sun 02-Mar-14 16:42:39

You can... It's called 'related by adoption'. Very useful. Not that granddad actually read it in our family but granny found it interesting

Inthebeginning Sun 02-Mar-14 17:33:25

we bought the book for our parents. my mom read it from cover to cover and often says "but in our book it said. ..." grin this is my face as I clench my teeth and bite my tongue wink
We also bought the book for dh's mom. I don't think she read it but she did go on the friends and family course. This did seem to work for her as she does take more in when she hears it face to face. is there any chance your la could still pit them on one?
We are linked at the moment but I think whether it was our birth child or our adopted child my mom would be annoying over the top.
I know thats not much help but you're not the only one!

Italiangreyhound Sun 02-Mar-14 17:53:50

Hi redfishbluefish we are linked but not got our little one home yet and my in laws are brilliant with our dd so I am afraid I don't have the situation you do. However, I think the fact your MIL is lovely does give you some way in with her and maybe get her on side!

Can you speak to her by phone or when you see her, when little one is not around, and update her on how things are going and kind of reiterate the ground rules often? It may be that she is literally forgetting what she needs to do or not do?

I think it is helpful to be quite direct, things like, "It's so great that you are so loving with LO, just remember s/he is likely to be quite confused/sad/over excited etc (fill in whatever is happening) so blah blah blah (fill in whatever you need her to know).

I am sure this sounds obvious and maybe you have done this, if she is not listening then you may need to gently say over a cup of tea "He is a bundle of fun isn't he (or whatever) remember when I sid how easily excited he was by gifts/sweets whatever - I think it would be helpful if you could give the sweets after dinner/not bring a present every time... whatever it is!

Good luck.

Happiestinwellybobs Sun 02-Mar-14 19:15:01

Moan away. I started a similar thread about my MIL shortly after placement. The difference being that my MIL knew loads about adoption and children in care.

My advice is to be direct and clear with her. She will be excited about her new grandchild, so may just be letting that get in the way. But your DS has got to come first. The book that has been recommended was good for my parents - although they also had a tendency to come out with "but in the book it says..."

The way you will approach this depends very much on your relationship with her already. Although feel free to ignore me - my situation ended badly, with MIL having very limited contact with DD and none with me! That being said I have a narcissist of a MIL. Good luck smile

MrsBW Sun 02-Mar-14 19:50:35

That book was a bit of a pain for me, I have to say - there's a bit in it which talks about Grandparents meeting the children during Intros. My DM (who I sent the book to) was most put out when I told her that certainly wouldn't be happening and she may not meet them for some time (I said it kindly). She still goes on about it today...

If your MIL can't respect the way you are raising your LO, perhaps you need to distance yourself for a few weeks until you're all settled? Just a thought.

bberry Sun 02-Mar-14 20:32:58

Urghhhhh..... My MIL was awful the first time she met dd, it was literally the weekend from hell..... Constantly asking for hugs and kisses, tried to feed her at the table, tears and then verbal aggression when asked not to encourage dd to hit the "naughty table" (I believe that she needs to learn to be careful with her head,feet, whatever rather than blaming an inanimate object) The list goes on..... She still denies trying to feed her "I don't remember that" and takes no responsibility for how utterly selfish she was.....

I feel your pain......

No helpful words other than.... Arghhhhhhhh!!!


Exellis Sun 02-Mar-14 22:01:53

I feel what you are all thinking/ saying but try to enjoy the grandparents. I lost my mum suddenly before our children were placed in fact two weeks after we were linked. I would LOVE to be whinging about them right now. Sadly she never knew them I miss her every day.

Angelwings11 Sun 02-Mar-14 22:30:25

It was my mother not my MIL that I have had issues with. I also bought the book 'related by adoption' and asked our families to read this and to do their own research re:funnelling, early life trauma. Sadly, some (like my family) do not 'get it' and think that because a child etc has found their forever family that 'they' will be like other children. I am not currently speaking to my family because of a number of insensitive comments (I am apparently possessive over my LO and I also made a celebration party in my LO's honour all about me). I suggest that you stick to your guns, as you know your LO and try to ignore some of what is said.

Exellis I am sorry for your loss xx

MyFeetAreCold Sun 02-Mar-14 23:54:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Italiangreyhound Mon 03-Mar-14 02:25:51

Excellis so sorry for your loss. My dad died when I was 5 months pregnant with our DD and he never got to meet her, his only grand daughter, or to meet the new child we are adopting. My mum has dementia and will not really be able to appreciate our new child. It is very sad. I hope in spite of this you can enjoy your new family members.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 03-Mar-14 22:40:06

Excellis , that must have been really tough for you all.

On relatives , my parents were mostly well behaved (once I had reassured them that they were allowed to touch DD eg if she fell over while I was out of the room or if she asked for a cuddle!). MiL mostly ignored it all. PiL ditto, but was anxious to establish what we wanted as ground rules and followed them.

Rant away, it's perfectly allowable here.

redfishbluefish Mon 03-Mar-14 23:22:20

Thanks everyone for your kind and helpful comments! They really cheered me up. DH and I did give her the Related book mentioned above, but I'm not sure how much has sunk in. Like with other people's family members, I think she imagines forever family, sorted, all good, the end...

Exellis and Italian, very sorry for your respective losses. My DH's father passed away, although that was awhile ago.

This thread has really helped, especially as my confidence is a bit shaky at the moment (ds is our first child). I have also talked with DH about it and he has had a word with her, so maybe that will help too.

Italiangreyhound Mon 03-Mar-14 23:56:07

Great. That is good news about your DH having a word with her.

Angelwings11 Tue 04-Mar-14 07:08:11

You are doing wonderfully! It is hard and some times there can be transferance from your DS and how he is feeling. Make sure you do something for yourself and try not to let MIL get to you.....

Wishing you well


bberry Tue 04-Mar-14 07:21:56

My MIL took offence at the " related by adoption" book being given to her, she said she didn't need a book to teach her how to be a grandmother.... How self centered can you be?

MyFeetAreCold Tue 04-Mar-14 15:18:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

redfishbluefish Tue 04-Mar-14 20:05:23

Thanks Angelwings and Italian. Bberry, that sounds really annoying-I can easily imagine the scene!

It is tough trying to explain what 'normal' is. In RL I don't really get into it with people generally, or at best limited comments-TBH I feel like it most people don't get it and I d

redfishbluefish Tue 04-Mar-14 20:06:29

Oops! Too soon...
Just that I don't want to share pers

redfishbluefish Tue 04-Mar-14 20:07:23

Argh! Personal info.

There! Done! Sorry! blush

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